Sunday, July 3, 2016

Is it time for the SBC to get rid of Lottie Moon?


Now that the Southern Baptist Convention has repudiated the Confederate battle flag, what is its next step to turn its back on its history?
Obviously, one step is to rid itself of the name "Southern," because by banning the flag and misrepresenting the history of the War for Southern Independence, the convention shows that it is not worthy of that name.
I think I read sometime back that there is a quiet move to do just that. "Great Commission Baptists" is the name that has been promoted as a worthy replacement, if I recall right.
The SBC ought also to take its cue from what others are doing. Throughout the nation, there is a move to abolish all Confederate memorials and monuments and rename buildings that bear the name of Confederate heroes. An erasure and rewriting of history is underway.
Perhaps the so-called Southern Baptists will do that. They could start with Charlotte Digges Moon, Lottie Moon, for whom they name their annual Christmas missions offering.
She lived from Dec. 12, 1840, to Dec. 24, 1912. She was a Southern Baptist
missionary to China for 40 years. She lived a life devoted to Jesus Christ by serving others and sharing the good news of his atoning death on the cross. They say she died of starvation because she gave away her money and food to Chinese people during a famine.
But hold on a minute. Lottie was born rich on a plantation in Virginia. There were slaves on that tobacco plantation; they were owned by her Baptist parents. One source I found claims there were 52 slaves on that plantation, the largest number in Albemarle County, Virginia.
Does that not make her a symbol of evil like the Confederate battle flag for Southern Baptists?
She does not seem to have grown up to be an abolitionist or to have been surrounded by abolitionists. Her older sister, a physician, was a Confederate  Army doctor during the so-called Civil War. Lottie had a cousin, also known as Lottie, who was a spy for the Confederacy.
Lottie stayed home and helped her widowed mother (Lottie's father died in a riverboat accident when she was 13) take care of the slave plantation. Did her father buy and sell slaves? Did he whip them? Did Lottie and her mother do any of that after his death?
After the war she became a missionary. I have found no evidence that she ever confessed her "sins" of growing up in a slave-holding family or being part of a family that fought for the Confederacy.
Personally, I think she is a saint, like Mother Theresa, but after what the Baptists just did, I'm looking for the International Missions Board to declare Lottie Moon a symbol of racism and evil and boot her out the door along with her Confederate flag. In fact, they must do that to be consistent. They can't have a white, slave-holding plantation family's daughter as the symbol of their foreign missions work now.
They will have to rename the foreign missions offering for a real, true Christian, perhaps a woman of some color or another. Then the Baptists can declare that racism is over—or
at least that they've done something else to make the liberals and the media happy.

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